The PLACE, Inside Out Youth Services team up to give homeless youth safe space this winter

The Place
Published: Dec. 15, 2020 at 11:04 AM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Young people needing someplace to go this winter will have an open door at a local youth center.

Non-profit The PLACE, which offers resources to homeless youth, and Inside Out Youth Services, a community center for LGBTG+ teens and young adults, are teaming up to give young people on the streets a safe place to get out of the cold. For six hours Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., homeless youth between 15-24 are invited to stop by Inside Out Youth Service’s location on 223 N. Wahsatch St., where they can get warm, grab a meal, get hygiene supplies, and be in a safe place.

“The raging COVID pandemic is surging alongside the increasing epidemic of youth homelessness,” said The PLACE Executive Director Shawna Kemppainen. “The new limits on services and space now collide with winter. Young people we know are right now at dire risk of disease, increased vulnerability to assault, or human trafficking, and freezing before they find the right help. This collaboration means young people can take a longer break from the streets, and they can link to safe adults trained to support them.”

The PLACE’s Street Outreach Team will be on site to offer assistance with support services such as access to mental health professionals and finding shelter or housing.

“We have a close relationship with The PLACE already because 1 in 3 youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBTQ+,” said Inside Out Youth’s executive director, Jessie Pocock. “The Inside Out space has always been a respite for these youth, and this collaboration means young people won’t go without warmth, food and help right now.”

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